SJFA U11 v AFC Wembley

On the 28th January, SJFA Under 11’s played their first ever competitive match against AFC Wembley. We had four SJFA debutants, one Under 10 player and a player who had to play in trainers.

The squad that was chosen to participate was:

  • Hassan Merali (C)
  • Ammar Kassam (GK)
  • Shaahid Alimohamed
  • Mouneer Al-Khayat
  • Husayn Ismail
  • Zahidali Jamal
  • Mohamed Mahdi Janmohamed
  • Mohammed Mohsin Kanani
  • Ali Khatau
  • Sami Merali

The format of this friendly encounter was structured as two 25 min halves. AFC Wembley started of strongly and put SJ under immense pressure. We were forced to defend deeply and within little time were a goal down. A few minutes later AFC had a corner and one of our boys headed into his own net leaving our keeper no chance. It was clear to see this was the first time many had played together and the nerves was effecting some. The first half was one we all wanted to forget as they trudged off the pitch 5-0 down.

After a “Pep” talk we approached the second half with a clean slate and the mindset of it being 0-0. The aim was to win the second half. We made a couple of changes and went at it from the whistle with positivity and energy. It was like watching a completely new team. Within a few minutes we scored after a great team move from defence to midfield then to our captain to finish. We continued to create some more opportunities and should have scored our second soon after. AFC’s had an opportunity but Ammar our goalkeeper kept it out. We attacked again and the last man brought down our striker for a stone wall penalty. Hassan stepped up to take it and unfortunately missed the post by inches. AFC Wembley then came back into the game and managed to pull a goal back, before, also being rewarded with a penalty. Ammar pulled of a wonderful save from the penalty to keep the second half at 1-1. We pushed again for the winner and the boys were beginning to tire, AFC Wembley broke on us and managed to score to make the second half 2-1 and the final score 7-1.

I was immensely proud of the attitude and effort that was displayed by the whole team in the second half against a team that is currently in Division 2 and have obviously been playing together for a while. Each individual should be proud of themselves. A special mention must go to Husayn Ismail who made the transition up from the Under 10’s against a physical side and he held his own in midfield, he had also played a match in the morning in another SJFA match!

Well done SJ!

Fuad (Pep) Musa
Manager U11/12